Founded in 1957 under the artistic direction of its first Maestro, Edgar Schenkman, the Richmond Symphony (RSO) has been an important part of the cultural life of the City of Richmond for more than 50 years. Music Directors of the RSO have included Jacques Houtmann, George Manahan, Mark Russell Smith, and currently Steven Smith. The RSO performed only three concerts in its inaugural year; today the orchestra and its component ensembles make more than 200 public appearances (including educational services) each season.
As the largest professional performing arts organization in Central Virginia, the Richmond Symphony is a vital part of the cultural and economic fabric of the Richmond metropolitan area. During its 53 year history, the Richmond Symphony has touched more than 6,500,000 people with its music and nearly 2,700,000 children and youth have participated in its education programs.
The Richmond Symphony has received seven awards for adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and is a founding member of the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, which is dedicated to building diversity in classical music by commissioning new work from African-American and other minority composers. In addition, the RSO is one of only nine orchestras in the nation who have participated in the 10-year long Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Orchestra Forum from its inception in 1998 through 2009.
In the fall of 2009, the Richmond Symphony returned to its home, the Carpenter Theatre, now a part of the new Richmond CenterStage complex. The RSO is the primary presenter at CenterStage and the only resident company with offices in the complex. Since its opening concert in September 2009, the Symphony has seen unprecedented attendance to its Masterworks and Symphony Pops programming and great success with a new family series, LolliPops. After a two-year world-wide search, Steven Smith was appointed the new Music Director of the Richmond Symphony in March 2010 and began his first full season as Music Director in September 2010.
Music expresses emotion in sound. Perhaps that helps explain why music plays such a strong role in our lives. In fact, memories of events are often attached to musical memories. Any time we hear that music, its effect is more powerful, because the music is so entwined with that memory. We feel it. In a wonderful way, then, when we hear music for the first time, it can inspire new emotional connection to our personal experiences.
Casual Fridays - One- hour concerts starting at 6:30 that showcase great works from the classical repertoire including a deeper look into that evening’s work, with a post concert happy hour across the street to round out the evening.
Rush Hour at Hardywood - One-hour informal concerts featuring great music and discussion in the Hardywood tasting room.
Video Games Live™ is an immersive concert featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. The Richmond Symphony and a choir perform along with exclusive footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, and cutting edge video visuals to create an explosive entertainment experience with all the energy of a rock concert. Performance date: January 23, 2016 at the Altria Theater.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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